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13:25 Newbury

Valsheda was last seen winning a novice hurdle at Exeter over 2m 7f, despite not being fluent over some of the fences and being quite green. He’s a home bred by connections who have quite a few promising horses, Santini and My Drogo, to name a few. He is quite a bit of upside and has potential to be a nice horse for Nicky Henderson. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go well.

Quartz Du Rheu has been in nice form for Jonjo O’Neill and boasts a nice record over chases. He was unlucky not to have won his last four races, after going down by a neck a couple of races back. He’s a likeable sort and if he is fit and well after two months off track, then he’ll be a big danger.

I K Brunel hasn’t exactly had the rub of the green lately but he showed a slight return to form, over a less suitable distance, when third at Carlisle. He will enjoy the step back up to a longer distance and is currently racing 13 lbs below his peak. If he can recover even a fraction of that today, with more fitness, then he might well bounce back to victory.


16:45 Kempton

A cracking little maiden for this time of year, with quite a few leading owners all vying for the top prize. Sheikh Obaid, Bjorn Nielsen, Lady Howard de Walden and Godolphin, to name a few. The latter’s silks are being carried by Royal Symbol today. He demands attention in a race like this, especially on debut. He’s well bred and in very good hands, which makes it no surprise that he’s towards the top end of the betting. However, he hasn’t been given the greatest of draws and might just prefer a longer distance.

The Karl Burke trained, Nick Bradley Racing owned, Al Qareem debuted here around the ‘two lakes’, over a furlong shorter distance, three weeks ago. He kept on that day and should enjoy the extra trip. He’s open to improve again today.

Groundbreaker was given a nice introduction on his first day at school, when finishing fourth here, over a furlong shorter. Connections are in nice form and he will have learnt a lot from that day and should relish the step up. He could reward connections with a step up in distance and a bit more experience today.

written by Kieran McHugh


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